Advice from my Elders


*A Scrambled Egg*
14 Years
Feb 8, 2009
I'm just at a complete loss... I don't know what to do or say.

My husband has been in the military as enlisted but is now reconsidering becoming an officer and retiring, now I just don't know what to think, on one end I want to go home and raise my kids in one place, on the other it's only another 12 years before he could retire and it would create oppritunites for us and our children that wouldnt otherwise be available. I am asking as someone who has lived life, what is the answer, what is important, raising kids around thier family and in one place, or commiting 12 more years and securing a future but sacraficing moving a few times and possible deployments as well as not getting to be raised around family. Both options have a lot of benefits but I just don't know what to think. Both are important but I want to know if you could do it over what you would do? Having lived life what's more important?
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As someone who moved enough that I am always asked if my Dad was military, I can answer the part about moving and not being close to family. I didn't always like moving when I was a kid, but as an adult, I am glad it happened. I was able to see many different places, meet many different types of people that I may not have me otherwise and taught me a great deal about adapting to new situations. I now make friends easily though that could be attributed to more than just moving around. I know what I like and what I don't about where I would like to live as an adult.

We didn't have family at all close when I was growing up. We spent a good deal of time in Alaska where it was understandably hard for people to visit. We have never lived anywhere close to Grandparents, cousins, aunts and uncles, etc. I do sometimes wish I were closer to my cousins, but it's not that big of a deal to me. All said, I don't think that moving around a lot and not being close to extended family was a bad thing. It has made me a more adventurous person who isn't afraid to face big changes in my life.
I think you need to look at it from his prospective as well. Job security for him and lifetime benefits for you and your children (until they are 26 yrs old.) There's going to be some huge military cutbacks coming next year to reduce our debt. The Department of Defense is always they first to take the big hits and that includes cutting troop strength. Enlisted ranks are first to go for various reasons ie...tougher promotions leading to high year tenure, tougher physical fitness standards resulting in more discharges etc...Perhaps your husband is thinking of better pay, more educational oportunities that will carry over into the civilian world after he retires resulting in much higher pay as a civilian. Part of this is sacrifice on his part...deployments and seperation. The seperation and problems that always come along with it (car dies, TV craps out and so on) is sacrifice on your part. I firmly believe it makes a family stronger in the long run if you and the kids are cut out for it. If you can handle military life and be a "lifer," you can handle anything in the civilian world that is thrown at you.
The deployments and what not wouldnt be so bad but year longs seem so horrible! I'm tough I could hold the house down, and I def don't need a man around to survive but I love my husband and him being gone makes me sad
It is so beneificial I think I'm almost crazy for not jumping on the oppritunity!
Personally, I think year long deployments are rediculous, I agree with you. The longest time I was ever deployed was 9 months (aboard ship.) I did plenty of 3 and 6 month cruises as well...not to mention all the nitnoid 1 and 2 weekers away from home floating around off the coast playing war games. This day and time the way the economy and uncertainity is, with your husband considering becoming an officer opens the door for advancement where it might not happen as an enlisted person. It's always a sad day when a loved one has to deploy, it makes the heart grow fonder of your spouse as the days count down to when they've already experienced the excitement, anxiousness, the wrecked nerves, the relief and happiness of safe return, all the emotions... the first hug and kiss in a long time....ahhh... the good old days lol. See what you'll miss?!
Me personally, I would not do it again. I did my time, 22 years, it was a different day and time long ago during the Vietnam war. I would not change anything was an experience of a lifetime...time for others to carry the torch so to speak.
Both of you continue the journey, it'll pay off for you in many ways.
well I can't offer much but support..from a former military ex and I seperated b4 I was able to really raise my dd in the military lifestyle...

but I agree..deployments suck..the long ones! My brother was deployed for 18 months TWICE to iraq with very little kids at home..he now has 7 kids
and finally was able to be around for the birth!

Hugs hon!

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